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August 6     Tigers  42   Newcastle  36  (British League)

This was probably the wettest meeting ever staged at the White City. In the early heats, the track resembled a tributary of the nearby River Clyde! Times were in the eighties throughout, with Ivan Mauger setting the fastest time of the meeting with 83.2 seconds in heat three when he headed home Charlie Monk.

Maury Mattingly and Willie Templeton of Tigers and Newcastle’s Brian Brett all struggled badly in the wet conditions. Brett had scored thirteen in the previous week’s British semi final but was scoreless in three rides. Nils Paulsen and Charlie Monk made light of the conditions, both scoring eleven and both losing to Ivan Mauger.  Bruce Ovenden made a welcome return and scored a solid four points from the reserve berth. Newcastle got off to a good start and led by six points after heat four. However with Graham Coombes revelling in the heavy going, Tigers took a 5–1 in heat five to get back into the meeting. A Paulsen / Coombes 5-1 in heat twelve finally clinched the league points, before Monk spoiled Mauger’s maximum in the last race.

The second half will be long remembered for the sensational debut of Bernie Lagrosse who beat Ivan Mauger to qualify for the trophy final. Although he was last in the trophy final, there was a feeling that he could be a junior worth persevering with. Sadly, he was never to scale such heights again, and, after a few meetings for Tigers, returned home to New Zealand at the end of the season. He was to return to Britain in 1968 to ride for Berwick for three seasons under the name of Roy Williams. 

Tigers Scorers

Monk 11; Paulsen 11; Coombes 6; Scott 5; Ovenden 4; Mattingly 3; Templeton 2: 

Newcastle Scorers

Mauger 11; Dent 8; Craven 7; Kelly 5; Sharples 3; Watkins 2; Brett 0:

 

Although the season was to run for almost three more months, this was to be the last time that the Tigers could track their recognised strongest team. Tough times were ahead and few Tigers fans would have believed that their team would win only two more league meetings

 

 

 

August 13    Tigers  49   Swindon  46  (K O Cup Quarter Final)

Tigers had to make two enforced late changes. First Willie Templeton was stricken with whooping cough and wasn’t able to ride and then Bruce Ovenden phone to say he had broken down en route from his Manchester base. Bill McMillan and Red Monteith deputised. The meeting opened with the first leg of the August Golden Helmet match race. Barry Briggs beat Nigel Boocock 2-1. 

                The Tigers had difficulty containing the Briggs/ Broadbanks/ Ashby spearhead but Charlie Monk was in scintillating form and beat Barry Briggs twice on his way to a five ride maximum. His form augured well for the British Final.  Maury Mattingly, despite being given a sprig of “lucky” white heather before the meeting, blew a motor in his first race and struggled thereafter. Tigers were four down after heat seven but dug in. They won numerous battles between the lesser lights, which, along with Charlie Monk’s heat wins, put them three points up with three races to go.            

Bluey Scott and Nils Paulsen virtually clinched the tie with a 5-1 over the weak Sampson /Kilby pairing. However this was reversed in the next race as Ashby and Broadbanks got the expected 5-1 over Graham Coombes. Tigers were three up going into the last race and, as long as Charlie Monk finished ahead of Mike Keen, they were through. For good measure Charlie beat Barry Briggs as well, giving the World Champion his second defeat of the evening. Tigers won 49-46, which was clinched by the sterling efforts of replacements Bill McMillan and Red Monteith in beating their opposite numbers

Tigers Scorers

Monk 15; Scott 11; McMillan 6; Coombes 5; Paulsen 5; Monteith 4; Mattingly 3: 

Swindon Scorers

Briggs 13; Broadbanks 13; Ashby 11; Kilby 4; Sampson 3; Keen 2; Shuter 0:

 

 

Nils Paulsen fell in a second half race and sustained a broken collarbone. He would be out for some time. First estimates suggested that he could be out for at least six weeks

The draw for the semi finals saw Tigers drawn at home against the all-conquering West Ham. Taking the Provincial League KO Cup into account, Tigers had now received five consecutive home ties, an incredible run of good fortune but one that would be repaid over future years!

 

 

August 17    West Ham  47   Tigers 30  (British League)

Tigers were without Nils Paulsen and Willie Templeton. Bill McMillan and Bernie Lagrosse deputised, the latter making his Tigers debut. Charlie Monk had the chance to get some practice in at the Custom House track ahead of next weeks British Final. He was in impressive form and scored twelve points from five rides, beating Ken McKinlay and Sverre Harrfeldt in the process. Maury Mattingly had one of his best away meetings of the season, clocking up ten points from five starts. Apart from those two, Tigers had little to offer and only gained their points at the expense of the hapless Reg Trott.

Charlie Monk took Tigers through the one thousand British League race points barrier with his second place in heat twelve.

Tigers Scorers

Monk 12; Mattingly 10; Scott 3; McMillan 2; Coombes 2; Ovenden 1; Lagrosse 0:

West Ham Scorers

Harrfeldt 11; Hunter 9; Simmons 9; Leonard 8; McKinlay 5; Ede 3; Trott 2:

 

 

 

 

August 18    Poole  49   Tigers  26  (British League)

Charlie Monk again turned in a fine performance at Wimborne Road, and to think that the Pirates could have signed him in 1962! He scored fourteen points, with only Bill Andrew heading him. Maury Mattingly made his shortest journey of the season from his Southampton base but was again beset by mechanical troubles, which restricted him to just two points on a track where he usually flies. Bike problems saw Tigers concede two 5-0s, with Bruce Ovenden twice grinding to a halt. Graham Coombes managed two third places, beating two Pirates. The remainder of the team cannot finish ahead of a Pirate in what was another uninspired performance. 

Tigers Scorers

Monk 14; Scott 5; McMillan 3; Coombes 2; Mattingly 2; Ovenden 0;Lagrosse 0:  

Poole Scorers

Genz 11; Andrew 11; Mudge 10; Gilbertson 6; Smith 6; Cribb 3; Munday 2:

 

 

 

August 20    Tigers  55   Edinburgh  41  (Scottish Cup)

Already without Nils Paulsen, Willie Templeton made a brave attempt to ride but found he was too weak and breathless and pulled out after two pointless rides. Tigers’ second strings again rallied round and gave good performances. Reserve Bill McMillan took Willie’s last three rides to finish the night with eight paid ten, his best score of the season. Graham Coombes was only beaten by the flying George Hunter in his first three rides and had engine failure while comfortably winning his fourth race from Henry Harrfeldt. In his final ride he had to lay his bike down to avoid the fallen Charlie Monk, when both were chasing George Hunter. His bike was damaged further and he limped home third in the rerun, but still finished the night with a creditable eight paid nine. Bruce Ovenden rounded off a solid performance by beating Doug Templeton in his final ride.

Tigers’ heatleaders played their part too. Maury Mattingly always raised his game for Scottish Cup meetings and got his best home score for some time with nine paid eleven. Bluey Scott also impressed and top scored with twelve paid thirteen.

For the Monarchs, George Hunter lost out to Charlie Monk in his first outing before reeling off four straight wins, including a revenge win over Monk in the final heat when Monk fell. Edinburgh gained a 5-1 from the rerun of this race and this reduced the lead that Tigers took to Old Meadowbank to fourteen points.

Tigers Scorers

Scott 12; Monk 11; Mattingly 9; Coombes 8; McMillan 8; Ovenden 7; W Templeton 0:

Edinburgh Scorers

Hunter 14; D Templeton 9; Harrfeldt 8; McKee 6; Wells 4; Nickisson 0; Torpie 0:

 

 

 

August 21    Edinburgh  54   Tigers  41  (Scottish Cup)

Bernie Lagrosse replaced bronchitis victim Willie Templeton in a night of high drama. Tigers, with a lead of fourteen points, made a disastrous start, which saw them eleven points down on the night (and just three ahead on aggregate) after just four heats. Worse was to come in the next race when Charlie Monk fell while challenging George Hunter and Edinburgh took a 4-2 to reduce the aggregate difference to just one point. Eleven heats to go and things looked very bleak for the Tigers!

However Bluey Scott stopped the rot by winning heat six and a Monk / Coombes 4-2 was followed by a split heat. Tigers three point aggregate lead was wiped out by a Wells / Torpie 5-1 over Ovenden. Tigers shared heat ten, with Monk winning the race comfortably.

Edinburgh were one point ahead on aggregate at the interval and this lead was extended to three as Nickisson scampered home ahead of Bruce Ovenden and a mechanically troubled George Hunter. Bluey Scott had already pulled up in this race. It now really looked desperate for Tigers, but Maury Mattingly and Bill McMillan team rode behind Doug Templeton to again share a heat and maintain the differential.

Cometh the hour, cometh the man, and his name was Coombes. The program showed that the next race was the clash of Scotland’s “big two”, Monk and Hunter. However it was Monk and Coombes that leapt out the gate ahead of the normally fast starting Hunter. For four hectic laps Coombes withstood the constant Hunter pressure, to follow home partner Monk. On returning to the pits Coombes found he had Hunter’s tyre prints on the inside of his left arm. He was that close! Tigers were now one up, but any smiles on those wearing red and white soon disappeared as Doug Templeton and Colin McKee took a 5-1 to restore Edinburgh’s lead at three points. Coombes was out in the next race and was partnered by Bluey Scott. The pair took an excellent 5-1 from the back over Henry Harrfeldt, setting up a last heat decider. Tigers tracked Monk and Mattingly and only needed to split the heat to win the cup, and this they did. Hunter made the gate but the Tigers paired rode side by side and easily kept out Torpie, Edinburgh’s hero in last years last heat decider. The cup was Glasgow’s!

On the night Tigers heroes were Monk and Coombes, with the latter’s performances over the two legs being the difference between the two teams. Fireworks were set off in Princes Street, but, despite what Ian Hoskins would have had you believe, it was for the Edinburgh Festival, not the Scottish Cup!

Tigers Scorers

Monk 11; Coombes 8; Mattingly 7; Scott 6; McMillan 6; Ovenden 3; Lagrosse 0:

Edinburgh Scorers

D Templeton 14; Hunter 11; McKee 9; Harrfeldt 7; Wells 5; Nickisson 4; Torpie 4:

 

 

Tigers Scottish Cup winning team, not all looking at the camera!

 

 

August 24    British Final  (West Ham)

Rained off, which was good news for the injured Ivan Mauger, Colin Goody and Trevor Hedge who now had a further week to get fit. The meeting will be restaged next Tuesday.

 

 

 

 

August 27    Tigers  43   Newport  35  (British League)

Tigers continued to miss Willie Templeton and Nils Paulsen. Bill McMillan and Red Monteith again deputised and scored three and two respectively. Charlie Monk scored his first maximum in almost two months while Bruce Ovenden had two heat wins in his score of seven. Maury Mattingly won his first race but pulled up in his second when a stone went through his goggles and cut his eye. For the second week running, Graham Coombes found that his partner had withdrawn from the meeting and again responded magnificently with a score of nine paid ten.

Best for Newport were Pete Vandenberg with nine and Jack Biggs with eight. 

Tigers Scorers

Monk 12; Coombes 9; Ovenden 7; Scott 7; McMillan 3; Mattingly 3; Monteith 2:

Newport Scorers

Vandenberg 9; Biggs 8; Erskine 7; Golden 6; Penniket 3; Hughes 2; Harris 0:

 

 

 

Graham Coombes, Tigers Scottish Cup match winner was again in good form against Newport

 

 

 

                                                     August 28    Swindon  54   Tigers  24  (British League) 

Tigers were up against it, with Maury Mattingly unfit following his eye injury the previous night and were all at sea on a rain soaked track. Joe Hicks risked his job erecting hydroelectric power lines to travel south and make his Tigers debut. He scored one paid two. Charlie Monk scored ten from five starts and earned his fourth, and last, bonus point of the season when following Bluey Scott home.

Briggs and Broadbanks both scored full maximums for the Robins but the match reporter conceded that it would have been an excellent meeting had Mattingly, Paulsen and Templeton been available. Barry Briggs younger brother Wayne announced his retirement, certainly for the season, after two unsuccessful comeback attempts following a broken thigh at Newport in July 1964.

Tigers Scorers

Monk 10; Scott 7; McMillan 3; Coombes 1; Hicks 1; Lagrosse 1; Ovenden 1:

Swindon Scorers

Briggs 12; Broadbanks 12; Ashby 9; Kilby 7; Keen 7; Sampson 6; Jackson 1

 

 

 

August 30   Newport  50   Tigers  28  (British League)

Newport gained revenge for their recent defeat at the White City. Tigers continued having to field a makeshift team, with McMillan, Hicks and Lagrosse again turning out. Charlie Monk fell in his first ride but remounted for third place before reeling off four consecutive wins. Collectively, the remaining six Tigers only just exceeded his total and to add to their woe Bluey Scott sustained a broken toe after a crash. Vic White, absent from the Wasps side in Glasgow three days earlier, had been restored to the Wasps line up. He had failed to score in two previous visits to the White City but managed four tonight.

Tigers Scorers

Monk 13; Scott 6; Coombes 3; McMillan 3; Ovenden 2; Hicks 1; Lagrosse 0:

Newport Scorers

Vandenberg 11; Erskine 9; Golden 9; Biggs 7; Hughes 7; White 4; Penniket 3:

 

 

 

 

 

 

August 31    British Final  (West Ham)

The top six riders would qualify for the World Final at Wembley. The meeting was held up for an hour as the riders threatened a strike over points money. Eventually the West Ham directors agreed to make up the difference.

In his first ride Charlie Monk clashed with Barry Briggs at the first turn and Briggs dropped back with a loosened plug lead. Monk went on to win the heat comfortably. Monk’s second heat was rerun after coming together with Bill Andrew. In the restart he was last from the gate but picked off Andrew and Genz to finish second. With five points from two rides it was looking good. A further two points were garnered from his third ride after Nigel Boocock pulled out with bike trouble. Seven points from three starts meant he was well on course for qualification.

Things started to go awry in his fourth outing when he developed a puncture and was beaten into third place but with eight points he was still very much in the hunt. Heat twenty had three rivals in Ken McKinlay with nine points, Monk on eight and Jimmy Gooch on seven. Monk and McKinlay diced for the lead for two laps until McKinlay, on the outside, slid into the fence. The red lights were put on and Monk was excluded – a real home track decision! Speedway Star reporter, Paul Parrish, wrote, “I didn’t think Monk had anything to do with McKinlay’s fall” but out he went and his dream of appearing at Wembley was over. The sad thing was that Charlie didn’t have to beat McKinlay at all, just finishing second ahead of Gooch would have been enough. Unfortunately Trevor Redmond wasn’t at West Ham for he certainly would have instructed Charlie on his tactics for the final heat.

BBC Sportsview cameras were at the meeting and when Trevor Redmond saw the transmission he immediately slapped in a protest to the Control Board